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Cost- and Energy-Efficient Control Systems for Buildings

This project exploits high-resolution data gathered in KTH Live-in Lab research testbeds through an advanced and modular monitoring set-up, capable of acquiring real-time data on indoor environmental quality and involved energy flows including ground source heat pumps, photovoltaic panels and ventilation. It will provide an assessment of inefficient energy use of common faulty systems, and guidelines for cost-optimal design and for implementation of building monitoring and control systems.

Computer-generated image of KTH Live-in Lab.

Background

To move towards intelligent and smart buildings, methods and demonstrations are needed. Monitoring data is currently collected without exploiting the inner potential for innovative solutions. This is typically due to, among other reasons, the lack of efficient and dedicated sensor network design and data structures.

Recommendations for a cost-efficient implementation of monitoring and control systems, depending on the building and the energy supply system characteristics, are necessary, but not yet available as common practice.

Old and new buildings lack comprehensive guidelines and demonstrations about the impact of faulty settings on energy use. Consequently, the opportunities for enabling the energy saving potential of ICT solutions are still locked, and the system maintenance is also negatively affected.

Project description

This project aims at demonstrating cost-effective solutions able to increase the system energy efficiency. Databases of high-resolution and high-quality data can lead to new valuable insights and the creation of new opportunities. Research testbeds offer unique resources to develop and test smart monitoring and control solutions that have a valuable impact on increasing the energy-efficiency in the built environment.

This project will exploit the high-resolution, real-time data gathered in the KTH Live-in Lab research testbed through an advanced sensor and data infrastructure, in order to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of smart buildings. As a result, the operative definition of smart building will be enabled. Sensor measurements will be used to identify common faulty settings in buildings’ ventilation and heating systems, estimating their impact on the energy use. Particular attention will be dedicated to the user experience, the impact of the users’ energy use, and visualization techniques to promote energy-efficient behaviours.

Aim and objectives

  • Assess the quality of data from advanced monitoring systems.
  • Enhance existing features and improve the exploitation potential of existing databases.
  • Detect and identify the most common faulty settings in heating and ventilation that are causing the systems to underperform and estimate the related energy waste.
  • Test and implement advanced and self-tuning control strategies.
  • Showcase the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of ICT solutions to increase the efficient energy use in buildings and improve comfort.

The desired outcome of this project is to contribute to the reduction of the primary energy use in the building sector, and thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, it would also enhance the competitiveness of the Swedish building sector with respect to the challenge of sustainable, low energy buildings.

Implementation

Three building facilities will be used as implementation and prototypes: The KTH Live-In Lab’s Testbed KTH, Undervisningshuset  and the neighbourhood of Uppsala Backe. The first round of data analysis will be carried out in the Testbed KTH and Undervisningshuset; this helps identifying the room for improvement in both buildings and has supported the design of the ICT infrastructure in Botrygg’s Uppsala Backe.

Publications and interviews

Rolando D., Molinari M., Development of a comfort platform for user feedback: the experience of the KTH Live-In Lab, ICAE 2020, International Conference on Applied Energy, December 2020, Thailand, Paper 385.

Molinari M., Rolando D., Digital twin of the Live-In Lab Testbed KTH: development and calibration, IBPSA-Nordic International Conference, BuildSim Nordic 2020, October 2020, Oslo.

”Kostnads- och energieffektiva styrsystem i byggnader”, Kyla och Värme, October 2019 (submitted)

Interview with Marco Molinari at E2B2.

Contacts

Project Managers

Researchers

Schools

Department of Energy Technology

Project partners

Botrygg, Akademiska Hus, Tovenco

Research areas

Smart buildings, Advanced Controls for Buildings, Fault Detection, Monitoring data, Data Analysis.

Project duration

3 years

Financed

This project is financed by the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten) under the E2B2 program.